Bringing rock-and-roll to Tharparkar


KARACHI: The Sketches entered Tharparkar as a bunch of musicians but left it like a group of rockstars. The band which hails from the city of Jamshoro performed the first rock concert in the district of Tharparkar on Tuesday.

The idea to perform at a place like Thar had been there for quite some time and it was only recently that due to the efforts of their friends Pratab and Satish that they were able to perform there. “Traditional musical evenings tend to happen in the city on a regular basis but we wanted do something more modern and concert like for a long time,” Saif Samejo, The Sketches frontman, told

But for Samejo, the motive behind staging a performance over there was to bring a smile on the faces of people who have been fighting various natural calamities of late. They performed in front of an open crowd while sitting on sand dunes.

For The Sketches, which has previously performed in Coke Studio, playing in a place like Thar was first. On their journey from Jamshoro to Thar, they encountered some minor technical hiccups. “Usually, the musical evenings that take place in that region involve musicians, who play instruments, such as the flute and tabla, but the ones we play need to be plugged in. So, we had to carry some of our own sound and lighting equipment,” explained the vocalist.

Unaware of the crowd’s likes and dislikes, the band started out with local folk music and eased the listeners into their main set, this comprised folk rock numbers. However, the traditional music listening audience of Thar did not disappoint the rockstars.  After songs like Pakhi Pardes and Hik Insaan, the crowd really got on its feet. “After the show, we were surrounded by hordes of people, who wanted to take pictures with us and asked for our autograph. It took us almost two hours to get to out of the huddle,” shared the musician.

Samejo, who has collaborated with Tharparkar-based musicians through his Lahooti Music Ashram, was full of praise for the residents of the area, saying there is an abundance of talent in the region, which is being ignored. Legendary folk musician Sadiq Fakir, who hailed from the district, was a major inspiration for the band, which performed the song Pakhi Pardes as a tribute to Fakir, who passed away two months ago.

“Not only are they talented people they are extremely hospitable and peace loving too. We had to spend the night in Tharparkar as the people there had become adamant on hosting us,” remarked Samejo. The band is keen on taking their music to other localities as well.


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